I had the opportunity to live in Boulder, Colorado for two and a half years. During that time I volunteered at a local Hospice. The training that we received was extraordinary. The staff was highly trained, many of them graduates with advanced degrees from Naropa University.
We were taught everything from bedside manner to equipment operation, vigil protocol, and family psychology specific to loss. It was quite something.
The volunteer training lasted for weeks. The culmination of which was a beautiful graduation ceremony attended by the permanent staff and a number of alumni volunteers. Each of them spoke eloquently about what it meant to them to be working in Hospice care. Moving. My biggest fear was that I wouldn’t be able to hold my emotions in check while caring for these vulnerable beings.
As I sat there thinking about the profundity of what we had been taught, and the individual responsibility it would take to care for whoever it was we were assigned to, I had a thought, which I hope I will never forget.
There was nothing, not one thing that we were taught during our Hospice training that didn’t apply to how all of us shouldn’t be treating each other on a daily basis.